Asia Centre Vision & Mission


Welcome to the Goldsmiths Asia Centre. Launched in 2015, the Goldsmiths Asia Centre promotes collaborative research, community development, capacity enhancement, knowledge transfer partnerships and exchanges in pedagogy with Asian partners. What makes Goldsmiths unique is that these collaborators come from both practice-based as well as academic departments.

This unique inter-disciplinary mix is reflected in the make-up of the contributors to the Goldsmiths Asia Centre. Members comes from departments as diverse as Confucius Institute for Dance and Performance, Theatre and Performance, Music, Fine Arts, Design, Media and Communications, Sociology, Politics, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Computing, Education and Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship.  

While we have a major hub of expertise at the Confucius Institute and there is a strong cluster around China, interest in Asia at Goldsmiths is not confined to that country but covers the whole of South, East and South-East Asia. With London as our classroom, the Asia Centre is also interested in the Asia within our global city. These interests reflect the strengths of the college in the arts, humanities, and social sciences with an interest in both theoretical and practice based approaches, and cross-disciplinary approaches to research and pedagogy.

We do teach Asian languages, notably Chinese (Putonghua) at the Goldsmiths Confucius Institute, and our members have expertise in Hindi, Malay, Indonesian, Vietnamese and other languages, but it is our core arts and social science subjects that are our primary focus.


We conduct research in disciplinary areas such as theatre and performance, music, art, design, computing and education, as well sociology, politics, anthropology, media studies and management, as well as in interdisciplinary fields such as creative and cultural entrepreneurship, arts management, cultural policy, cultural tourism, heritage and curatorship, and consumer studies.

Our members have had considerable success in accessing external sources of research funding from public funding bodies such as the AHRC and British Council/DFID, as well as from private trusts (e.g. Ford Foundation) and private sector companies. Our research outputs are published in peer reviewed journals and books with high impact publishers, as well as in creative outputs such as plays, exhibitions and performances. We are actively engaged in co-authoring publications with Asian researchers and are highly involved with joint bids for funding with Asian partners.

Consultancy and Networking

Our members are providing consultancies and advice for a wider variety of locally based and internationally based organizations. We are working with London boroughs and London-wide government, as well as with London based media, arts organisations, and private sector companies.

Many of our members are active as trustees for a variety of arts organisations (e.g. Pan Intercultural) as well as museums (Horniman Museum, Brighton Museum), and theatres (e.g. Saddler’s Wells). We have worked with international bodies such as the Asian Development Bank, UNESCO and UNWTO, and are continuing to expand our international portfolio.

We have extensive Asian networks and able to make important connections and to act as fixers for the media, government agencies, arts bodies and private sector companies, and our expertise on Asian etiquette and business negotiation is much sought after.


Our members have extensive Asian teaching experience as full faculty members of Asian universities, as teachers of Asian students in Western universities, as providers of short courses in Asia and in providing help with curriculum development and validated programmes, such as the Lasalle-Goldsmiths partnership in Singapore.

Our teaching is highly informed by our Asian expertise and Asian references and cases studies are used on a wide variety of modules and courses across the college. We also have a very active network of Asian postgraduate students with a strong record of completion at the PhD level. Many of our members are also actively involved in supervising postgraduates based on Asian campuses, often acting as Visiting Professors.

We are also engaged in adapting and creating research methods appropriate for Asian contexts, as well as in engaging with research approaches developed in Asia.

Community Engagement

Members of the Asia Centre are actively involved in community engagement as can be seen through the Confucius Institute’s work with young people in engaging with Chinese culture in south London. Barley Norton is Director of Goldsmith’s Asian Music Unit and in 2016 he and Jasmine Hornabrook worked on musical learning and performance among London’s Tamil diaspora with support from the AHRC.